Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday

Very nice weekend... in the 80's / 26's. No rain.

It is getting cooler at night. Last night at 11pm it was 51F / 10C. Brrrr.

It was very windy yesterday due to the tail end of Hurricane Irene... but it died down in the afternoon.

Lots of people here for the volleyball weekend but not as many as usual. I know this because the water went off in Helios ... only once on Sunday at around noon :-)

Photo: The two large gardens at the Outback being built. They have red mulch on them now... click for larger picture.



Events coming up this weekend (see the Bareoaks.ca website for more information):

Saturday - Petanque tournament from 9am to 5pm
Illumination night from 8:30pm to 9:30pm
Sunday - Chili cookoff and potluck 6pm to 8pm.

Note: If you plan to enter your chili, the deadline for the submission of the application and $5.00 entry fee is 4:00pm September 3. Your chili must be ready to submit by 1:15PM on September 4. Only 20 entries will be accepted so fill our your application early to ensure your chili will be judged.

Get your submission entry form online at http://www.bareoaks.ca/social/flyers/chilicooks_app_2011.pdf or from the office between Saturday August 20 through Saturday September 3.

Saturday, September 10 is the NINTH Euchre night. These Euchre nights are well attended.

On Saturday October 29 is the: Halloween Pot Luck Dinner & Dance

Halloween Costume Judging at 7:00 PM
Dinner at 7:30 PM
Dance at 8:30 PM

Prizes for Best Male, Best Female, Best Couple and all kids. Door Prizes.

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Not many people are swimming in the lake these days.

It's very quiet at night all around the park. We usually walk around dusk and, even thought there were a lot of people/cars here, ... it was very very quiet. Must have been a very active weekend...

My cross country skis are ready to go!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thursday

Hey, tomorrow is FRIDAY!!! The second last weekend before the END OF THE SUMMER.

We have to get darts going this winter or... something.

It's getting chilly at night... down to 62F / 16C at the moment.

The weather has been nice all week... very little rain.

There was a fantastic thunderstorm last night... whoa... I love those storms. It lasted a few hours and the power only went off for a few minutes.

I have no idea who won the Bare Olympics last weekend. Does anyone know?

How was Happy Hour this week? Busy?

This weekend is the Volleyball weekend and Easter in August.

Easter In August is on Saturday 1:30pm to 4:00pm.
Description: The Bare Oaks Social Committee invites you to join us for Easter In August to decorate your bonnets, baskets and egg cartons with sparkles, beads, flowers, ribbons and bows. All ages are welcome to attend. An Easter Egg Hunt will be held from 3:00PM - 4:00PM. Cost $2.00 per person.

Coming up:
September 3: Illumination night and Petanque tournament
September 4: Chili Cookoff

Not much going on here this week that I know of... I worked all week so didn't get out much.

The gate reader was down most of today due to last night's storm but it is up and running again. Thanks Phil... and Andy who helped him.

The lake is cooling down, not many people in it now.

Photo: a picture of the Outback beach four years ago... very little vegetation.



Photo: pretty flower in Judy's and JL's garden... check out the leaves ;-) (Click for a larger image)



Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday

Once again, it has been a lovely week. Very hot and slightly humid ... but nice!!

Photo: film crew on the beach



Well the filming is over. A film crew was taping here on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The film is called 'Prudence and the Sensuous Adventures of Bigfoot' ... 'Prudence Meets Bigfoot' or something similar. It was very 'interesting' especially the scene that was taped at 1:00 am on Wednesday night on the beach. I watched it as I was working late that night... the two naked women were ... 'very friendly' with each other... ;-). It's a good thing the park children were in bed.

If anyone knows the actual name of the film, let me know. There has been quite a few discussions amongst a lot of people about the film... the past few days...

Photo: film crew on the beach


The pool was closed Monday, the hot tub closed Tuesday along with the lake. There were a LOT of really annoyed people walking by my place on Tuesday wondering why the lake was closed for the entire day. It was HOT Tuesday.

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The water was off at 6am on Thursday on Beckett Circle. One of the people phoned the office but there was only an answering machine so he found one of the staff. Not sure what happened but I'm going to assume that it was turned on or reset.

The Country Hoedown had an attendance of about 20 - 25 people. I haven't heard from anyone about the horseshoe tournament.

The potholes have been FILLED... by Andy. It is nice to drive around now as there are no bumps and you don't get whiplash. This does NOT mean you can speed... 11KPH is the speed limit.

There are baby snapping turtles in the lake and they are sooooo cute. They like the fish food.

The lake is brown... greenish brown... and very murky. It has been a very hot summer here and it is probably not getting oxygenated enough.

The grass/shrubs on the other side of the pathway around the lake have been cut. Well, about a foot has been cut on the lake side which makes it a lot easier to walk on the path. The weeds on the path have been sprayed also. Thanks Jordan for cutting the brush.

The mini putt is OPEN. Actually it is called 'mini golf' here. I think I will continue to call it mini putt. It's not really 'golf' as there are no 'tee' times :-). Here is some of the information from the Bare Oaks blog:

Everyone is welcome to play. Putters and golf balls are available in the office. The fundraising effort was managed by 5 people at the park. Over $6,500 was raised for the project with all but $480 currently spent on materials. The remaining funds will be used to complete the finishing touches. A lot of people volunteered for this project.

If you want more information, go here and sign up for the Bare Oaks blog: http://www.bareoaks.ca/

The hot tub and pool were closed on Wednesday and Thursday due to a water reading that stated there was E. coli in the water. A reading was taken again on Wednesday and today the results were: no E. coli in the water. So... who knows what happened. The pool and hot tub are open again.

Photo: A dahlia from Suzy and Marc's garden.



The site gardens are really blooming now!

There have been a lot of daily pentanque games ... you can hear the horn at around 10am... just come to Helios and join everyone! I think there are spare balls but I'm not 100 percent sure.

Next events:

August 20: Bare Olympics

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Sunday August 21: Continental Breakfast Reception
11:00am - 12:00
Description: Bare Oaks Social Committee invites you to a Continental Breakfast Reception in appreciation of the support to BOSC events over this past year.
Food will be provided, but please bring your own coffee or tea.
Elections will be held for the 2011-2012 Bare Oaks Social Committee.
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Bring your own coffee and tea? Eh? A few people have asked me what this means and ... I really don't have a clue. Is there no way to make coffee and tea at the Bare Bistro?

August 27: Volleyball weekend and Easter in August
September 3: Illumination night and Petanque tournament
September 4: Chili Cookoff

That's it for this week... if you would like any information, email me. Lots of people do... Also, if you have a comment, you have to log in and then you can leave a comment by clicking the 'comments' link at the end of the day's blog.

Hey Frank, I thought you were going to trim a few gardens... heh heh.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday

It's been a gorgeous week here. A tad humid but who minds? Is it snowing? No. There you go.

First off... Jim from Beckett Circle sent me this link of Bare Oaks about 5 years ago... I think. I forget the date he told me. Yes, but that is typical. I really should carry around a pen and paper :-) If that is wrong Jim, log in and post a comment at the end of this day's blog.

Anyways... when you click the link, zoom in and then click 'satellite' view.

http://www.heavens-above.com/LocationFromGoogleMaps.aspx?lat=44.150223&lng=-79.368422&loc=Bare+Oaks&alt=0&tz=EST

I thought they were extra roads down the middle but it is where they covered up the trenches when they put in the water and electricity.

Cool. Not many trailers on the property when the photo was taken.

Thanks to Kim and Wendy for removing a bunch of Purple Loosestrife from... wherever it was removed from ... probably near the Outback. That stuff is invasive. Two green garbage bags full. You have to get the roots of that crap or it will spread like wildfire. I posted a photo last year of the damage it can do.

Also Kim trimmed the corkscrew willow trees at the Outback today.

Here are some interesting shots. Thanks Sandy for the flashdrive but I don't remember who took the photos...

The photos are of Henry the Turtle. He has not been around for about a month now. I guess he has moved on. He liked the floating trout food that I'm feeding the fish (every day at 7pm) and came over and snacked a bit of it. Click photo for a larger image.

The size of Henry ... about 14 inches long. Swimming underwater.





Henry with his mouth open. The floating bits are the fish food.



An artsy photo of Henry in the water.



Euchre on Friday night was well attended. 6 tables of 4 ... with a few onlookers.

I haven't talked to anyone who went to the Horseshoe Tournament so if you have any details, email me or leave a comment.

Also, the Country Hoedown... I was visiting people on Beckett Saturday and a lot of people dropped by and no one said they were going to the Hoedown so if you have any details on that... let me know and I'll give you a report. I was working Saturday so couldn't make it.

I have heard a few people say that $20.00 - $25.00 every week (per person) is a bit expensive for the events. I know that the meals don't cost that much. Let's say... a meal costs $5.00 per person... where is the rest of the money going? I saw a flyer that said some of the money was going to the Social Committee, some of it was going to the Hearts and Flowers fund, and some of it was going to ... the Outback washrooms.

Okay... NO ONE I have talked to who has been ill, hospitalized, etc. in the past few years has gotten a card from the Hearts and Flowers fund so... perhaps that should be dropped. I'm all for getting people cakes on their birthdays though :-) What happened to the 'once a month' birthday cake fest? My birthday is in November, I welcome cake.

Temperature has been in the 80's this week... 26's to 28's C.

Not much rain. Chilly at night ... it is 67F / 19C now.

The lake is getting browner and weedier. I haven't seen many people swimming in it this week.

CRICKETS ARE HERE!!! I love crickets. The cicadas (sɪˈkeɪdə) are here too. A cicada is the bug who lives in the trees and makes a high pitched sound. You can hear them when the temperature is 80F or hotter. The hotter it gets the higher the sound they make.

This is a photo of one so don't kill it if you see it. They are cool bugs. This one looks like the one I found on my chair today. I, of course, forgot to take a picture of it.



Factoids: Male cicadas have loud noisemakers called "tymbals" on the sides of the abdominal base. Their "singing" is not the stridulation (where one structure is rubbed against another) of many other familiar sound-producing insects like crickets: the tymbals are regions of the exoskeleton that are modified to form a complex membrane with thin, membranous portions and thickened "ribs". Contracting the internal tymbal muscles produces a clicking sound as the tymbals buckle inwards. As these muscles relax, the tymbals return to their original position producing another click. The interior of the male abdomen is substantially hollow to amplify the resonance of the sound. A cicada rapidly vibrates these membranes, and enlarged chambers derived from the tracheae make its body serve as a resonance chamber, greatly amplifying the sound. The cicada modulates the sound by positioning its abdomen toward or away from the substrate. Additionally, each species has its own distinctive "song".

Average temperature of the natural habitat for this species is approximately 29 °C (84 °F). During sound production, the temperature of the tymbal muscles was found to be slightly higher. Cicadas like heat and do their most spirited singing during the hotter hours of a summer day, in a roughly 24 hour cycle.

Although only males produce the cicadas' distinctive sound, both sexes have tympana, which are membranous structures used to detect sounds and thus the cicadas' equivalent of ears. Males can disable their own tympana while calling.

Some cicadas produce sounds up to 120 dB "at close range", among the loudest of all insect-produced sounds.

Okay that is enough knowledge for one day. If you want to know more... Wiki it.

Beckett Circle is full, cars everywhere. I noticed a group playing Bocce yesterday down the middle of Beckett.

Next events:

August 20: Bare Olympics
August 27: Volleyball weekend and Easter in August
September 3: Illumination night and Petanque tournament
September 4: Chili Cookoff

This is a photo of a great looking frog on my 'beach'.



As always, if you see me and want to put something in the blog, let me know.

On a final note... only 3 more weeks of summer left :-(

We never did start the walking club this year... ho hum.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tuesday

Whoa... rain rain and more rain today. I'll bet the creek is topped up.

Last year I posted about stinging nettle which is a plant here in the park.

Photos of stinging nettle:





I posted this last summer but you might want to know about it again. You can find the nettle beside the bridge to Beckett, past the willow trees. You can also find it all around the pond behind the Outback.

Nettle Facts - in case you care. I've removed all the extra stuff so as not to bore you to death.:

Stinging nettle is a perennial, 3 to 7 ft tall in the summer and dying down to the ground in winter. It bears small greenish or brownish numerous flowers in dense cluster. The leaves and stems are very hairy with non-stinging hairs and also bear many stinging hairs (trichomes), whose tips come off when touched, transforming the hair into a needle that will inject several chemicals: acetylcholine, histamine, 5-HT or serotonin, and possibly formic acid. This mixture of chemical compounds cause a painful sting or paresthesia from which the species derives its common name, as well as the colloquial names burn nettle, burn weed, burn hazel. The pain and itching from a nettle sting can last from only a few minutes to as long as a week.

In case anyone touches it... just to see what will happen: Anti-itch drugs, usually in the form of creams containing antihistaminics or hydrocortisone may provide relief from the symptoms of being stung by nettles. But due to the combination of chemicals involved other remedies may be required. Calamine lotion may be helpful.

However, if you want to remove the nettles first, use the sticky side of DUCT TAPE. Now I know everyone has duct tape in their home.

I grabbed a plant with NO gloves on ... out of one of my pots about a week ago. Yes, it was stinging nettle. The stinging lasted for 3 days. I finally did an internet search and found that a paste of baking powder and water relieves the sting right away... sigh. I suppose I could have REMEMBERED that I posted about this last year.

Now for the good stuff. In the UK, an annual Stinging Nettle Eating Championship draws thousands of people to Dorset, where competitors attempt to eat as much of the raw plant as possible. Competitors are given 60 cm (20 in) stalks of the plant, from which they strip the leaves and eat them. Whoever strips and eats the most stinging nettle leaves in a fixed time is the winner. The competition dates back to 1986, when two neighbouring farmers attempted to settle a dispute about which had the worst infestation of nettles.

That's... just... sick...

Okay if you are still awake...

The Outback is surrounded with pots of petunias which are really purdy and colorful. Ursula brought those to the park so if you see her, thank her. She is usually tanning near the Outback... or ask Bruce where she is located. :-)

If you have a dog, please pick up the poo. There was a rather large pile of it near the Outback which at least one person tracked ACROSS the deck as they didn't notice that they stepped in it. Bruce cleaned it all up. (bowing to Bruce).

If you are driving into the park, the branches along the main road are overhanging the driveway so... watch your car. I wacked Bruce in the face with one, the other day, when we were on the golfcart as we were going to water the plants at the entrance to the park. Or... maybe I did it on purpose? Can't seem to remember ;-)

Not many people here on Sunday and it was a beautiful day!! Or Monday for that matter.

I heard the washrooms at the back were closed most of the weekend due to a septic problem. The notice on the doors said it would be fixed today... but it has been raining non-stop so... I'll get back to you.

Euchre Friday night!!

If you are reading this and use a wheelchair, be careful of the bump outside the main door of the clubhouse. The bump/ridge/hole is at the bottom of the concrete ramp, where it turns to gravel. Brett has fallen twice now.

The Happy Hour is at Paul and Barb's place this week. Lot 118, Helios. It is a Mad Hatter Party so 'make or bring your favorite hat'. BYOB - BYO treats. Hot dogs supplied by Paul. Prize for the 'best hat'.

Still raining and 65F / 18C. I think I like the heat and humidity a lot more.

I painted half my deck yesterday... ho hum. Rain all day today. I also removed a 9 - 10 inch high by 8 inch wide yellow jacket nest from under my deck. I didn't take a photo as they were a tad pissed when I painted a bit of their nest in the afternoon :-)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday

Busy weekend... lots of socializing with new and old friends at the park.

The FCN Festival was this weekend, however, it didn't appear to be busier than a usual weekend here.

The water in Helios was ON all weekend... well, when I was here. I have no idea about the water on Beckett Circle.

It rained on Wednesday but I hear the Hanlans Beach crew (2 busloads) didn't get any rain on the Island.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday were nice days with rain off and on but it was still hot and humid.

The Wednesday Hump Day Happy Hour party was rained out on Wednesday and was held on Thursday. Around FIFTY people attended... great party with lots of food! Everyone is welcome at these parties and there were Festival people there including the regulars. I don't know who is holding it this coming Wednesday.

The lake was busier than usual mid-day but, other than that, not many people used it.

I didn't attend the Festival as I wasn't around a few of the days but on Saturday there were a lot of body painted people walking around. Fireworks last night ... I arrived at the end of them but could hear a few of the empty casing hitting my roof. The fireworks casing are about 3 inches long and grey tubes... in case you see any of them on the ground. After a rain I find a lot of them on my front driveway ... I'm guessing they come out of the downspout :-)

A note from Bruce... if you can't swim, wear a life preserver when you go in the lake. You can borrow them from the office. He had to help a person out of the lake the other day... someone who couldn't swim.

Lots of tents scattered around the lawns. Lots of partying last night until 3am.

I talked to a few people last night who were disappointed that they couldn't go to the roast beef dinner, they couldn't afford it as it was around $22.00 per person. (I'm only passing on comments.)

I hear the mini-putt was used this weekend. Yeah!!

My thermometer says it is 90F / 32C. It's cloudy which means I won't be painting again today... ho hum.

Don't forget, put your alcohol empties in the PINK BINS around the park.

Photo: Butterfly on a cone flower.



Next events:

August 13: Horseshoe tournament and Country and Western Hoedown
August 20: Bare Olympics
August 27: Volleyball weekend and Easter in August
September 3: Illumination night and Petanque tournament
September 4: Chili Cookoff

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday

It's been hot this week, rained for about an hour on Sunday morning and a few campers got a tad wet.

The lawns are growing again. Baby turtles have been spotted in the lake. Please do not touch the turtles and they will not touch you. Remember, a turtle has a very long neck and can reach his tail... so don't pick one up. U. was swimming in the lake and bonked into one... it didn't hurt her but she thought she hit a rock. ha ha ha.

Lots of dogs here now, seems like every other person has one. There are a few cats that roam around the park ... and taunt the tied up dogs and kill birds and chipmonks. There are also a few unleashed dogs that chase rabbits, I've been told. I'm pretty sure that ALL pets are supposed to be leashed... unless it is a bird or turtle.

Photo: we grow 'em big here!! One of JL's zuccinis. (I got permission to put him in the blog.)



There are PINK plastic bins around the park now. Put your alcohol empties in those bins. The money will be used for a defibrillator, perennials... and something else... and I've forgotten what it is.

Oh, an update on the 'fee for the use of the mini-putt'. I really hate asking people about it now as they go off into a rant ... ha ha ha. It happened twice yesterday. I haven't found ANYONE who will pay a fee and, if they have to, they won't use it. Lots of people have suggested a buck rental for the putter and you get the buck back when you return the putter.

Oh and I'd like to extend a warm thank you to the person who wippersnipped the garden down beside the Beckett showers... and the person(s) who told him to do it. That was sarcasm. I won't mention names but the person who did the gardening for the MANY years previous to this year, and I, are VERY ANNOYED that this was done.

We (mostly him) have spent HOURS AND MONEY doing the gardening at the park and TWO of the gardens have been decimated (aka killed). There is one by the Outback that has been cut to the ground too. If the garden looked a little rugged... WATER IT, DON'T CUT IT DOWN. If anyone here sees someone whippersnipping a GARDEN, feel free to tell him to stop. Thank you Bruce for watching out for the big Outback gardens that we have been caring for these past weeks when you noticed it was about to happen there.

I usually blog about what people have told me but this one belongs to ME (and past gardener). I was going to send an email to management but, it seems, that no one cares about the gardens or they would have asked a staff member to WATER THEM during the drought. The gardens beside the front office are really suffering. Ah well... that is the end of my rant... and this was done for the previous gardener too as I bet he is still steaming :-). I know he was a tad pissed off when he stopped me on my golf cart the other day...

Moving on... the park is FULL of new people... which is nice to see. Lots of couples walking about, swimming in the lake and basking in the sun by the lake.

There are a few tents around the lake at the moment.

The serviced sites are all taken for the festival but there are still a lot of tent spots left.

There have been no raccoon incidents at the garbage for weeks, just stand to the side when you open the garbage bin and you will remain unharmed.

There are two buses going to Hanlans Beach on Wednesday. I have no idea when they leave but it will probably be early. Check the Bare Oaks website for details (http://www.bareoaks.ca/).

The Ribfest had an attendance of about 70 - 80 people and that is all I heard about it. Feel free to post in the comment section if you have any more details.

This Wednesday's Hump Day Happy Hour party is at Kevin and Jose's place... from 4:30 - 6:00.

The fire ban is off... of course I should have posted when there was a ban but ... I forgot :-)

If you want me to post about anything... email me.

And a final note... thanks for emailing me to post a blog... ;-)